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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 23, 2006 at 10:44 AM

Start a queue for the Moto Q


The Q makes its debut.

Motorola and Verizon Wireless said Monday that the Moto Q, loaded with Microsoft’s Window Mobile operating system, will be available starting May 31. The Q is viewed as a direct competitive threat to the very popular Blackberry offered by Research in Motion.

The Motorola Q will be available exclusively through Verizon Wireless. Customers can purchase it online through Verizon Wireless Web site on May 31 or at any Verizon Wireless store on June 5. It’s priced at $199.99 after a $100 instant credit when purchased with a certain Verizon Wireless voice and data plan and two-year customer agreement.

In a Chicago Tribune story today, analysts said the Q has two particular strengths:

First, there is its Razr-inspired styling. “I think Q is visually the most innovative looking product to come to [the smart phone] market and that should drive use of the product,” said Ben Bollin, a stock analyst at FTN Midwest Securities.

Second, the Q’s $200 price (after an instant rebate) is very competitive. “I think it has a very attractive price point for the type of phone that is,” said Brant Thompson, a stock analyst at Goldman Sachs.

The Moto Q is cheaper than the Palm Treo 700w, which also has the Windows operating system, and came out about a year ago. The Treo is now selling for $400 on Verizon Wireless’s Web site, after discounts.

In a Boston Globe story, Motorola Chief Executive Ed Zander said he expects the phone will be popular enough to justify a whole family of devices following the Q.

“We think this is a genre for a new platform,” Zander said. He would not give more details beyond saying that by year’s end Motorola would have a phone based on WCDMA technology, which means it would also soon be made available for GSM phones. Verizon Wireless follows a different technology track.

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